First Posted: 8/28/2014
The History Channel
* On Sept. 17, 1884, Judge Allen disposes of 13 criminal cases on his docket in only six minutes. A defendant in Oakland, California’s criminal court did not stand much of a chance of gaining an acquittal. In a 40-year period, only 1 defendant in 100 was acquitted.
* On Sept. 16, 1932, in his cell near Bombay, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi begins a hunger strike in protest of the British government’s decision to separate India’s electoral system by caste. Gandhi worked all his life to spread his own brand of passive resistance.
* On Sept. 15, 1954, the famous picture of Marilyn Monroe, laughing as her skirt is blown up by the blast from a subway vent, is shot. The scene infuriated her husband, Joe DiMaggio, and the couple divorced shortly afterward.
* On Sept. 21, 1968, Jeannie C. Riley is the first woman to top the Country and Pop charts simultaneously. “Harper Valley P.T.A.” was her first professional demo, which was released as a single. Eventually Riley became a born-again Christian and refused to perform her biggest career hit.
* On Sept. 20, 1975, the Bay City Rollers make their U.S. debut on “Saturday Night Live” with Howard Cosell. The Rollers already were an enormous phenomenon in the U.K., where their every move was greeted by the kind of hysteria not seen since the height of Beatlemania.
* On Sept. 18, 1981, the 20,000-car parking lot at Canada’s West Edmonton Mall makes the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest parking lot in the world. The West Edmonton Mall’s parking-lot record will soon be broken. In Dubai, a 40,000-space parking lot is under construction at a shopping center.
* On Sept. 19, 1995, a manifesto by the Unabomber is published by The New York Times and Washington Post in the hope that someone will recognize the person who, for 17 years, killed and maimed innocent people by sending homemade bombs through the mail. David Kaczynski linked the writing style to that of his older brother Ted, who was later convicted of the attacks and sentenced to life in prison without parole.